The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Requiem for a Robot Dog by Lauren Scharhag

This selection, chosen by guest curator Heather Leigh, is from Requiem for a Robot Dog by Lauren Scharhag, released by Cajun Mutt Press in 2019. 


People think that citizenship
is something that just happens,
that it’s automatic, like a luggage carousel.
Once you’re disgorged, someone’s bound to claim you.
But borders, like names, are just lines on paper.
You know how it is, when you dream of a place,
but it doesn’t look like that place anymore?
The city where your grandparents were born
no longer exists. Bombs got it, or a disease,
or just a man with an eraser. Sleepwalking,
adrift, history-less, everything familiar is alien.
Words like fence and tent were once innocuous,
words like displaced and refugee meant someone else.
People speak, but their language is not your language.
They are not eager to share their world with you,
or for you to share your world with them.
You stand outside and try to remember what it looks like
when a door actually opens.

Lauren Scharhag (she/her) is an associate editor for GLEAM: Journal of the Cadralor, and the author of thirteen books, including Requiem for a Robot Dog (Cajun Mutt Press) and Languages, First and Last (Cyberwit Press). Her work has appeared in over 150 literary venues around the world. Recent honors include the Seamus Burns Creative Writing Prize and multiple Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominations. She lives in Kansas City, MO.

Heather Leigh is a queer, disabled writer and editor who has been working within Chicago’s publishing world for more than twenty years, editing poetry for the likes of Curbside Splendor and reading prose and poetry for Uncanny Magazine. She has recently began to focus on her own publication goals between semesters teaching English, writing, reading, and journalism at various midwestern community colleges. She is a three-time SAFTA fellowship recipient, a multiple resident of Firefly Farms, and most recently had a speculative horror story published in Bloodlet, an anthology by CultureCult Press. She lives in Chicago with a retired cage-fighting poet, two rescue cats names after Buffy watchers, enjoying life with the family that caught her by surprise.


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